File delivery demystified

TV professionals guide us through the shift to tapeless programme delivery

This year marks the final instalment of completely digital file based TV broadcasting, right through from acquisition to delivery. The Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has announced 1 October 2014 as the date on which all the UK broadcasters will need to accept digital files.

“It’s one of the biggest changes we’ve seen in television since colour” – Andy Quested, head of technology, BBC HD

Mark Harrison, controller of production at BBC North, describes this shift simply as "taking out that tape part of the process and finally making it digital from beginning to end". With the new file based requirements, the aim is to make the delivery process as efficient as possible. Supervising editor on ITV's Emmerdale, Gary Westmoreland, welcomes this move to the one common standard and explains that it's designed to make the whole process much simpler.

"There’s lots of sessions and forums going on at the moment, where the DDP are telling everybody what they need to do" – Donna Mulvey-Jones, head of post production, Maverick Television

If you are involved in producing films for UK broadcast you now need to familiarise yourself with the AS-11 container. In the words of Rowan de Pomerai, senior technical manager at ITV Studios, the DPP compliant AS-11 is very much like the music files many are already familiar with: "you get your music but it also has the artist name, track name and so on, wrapped into the file. We're doing exactly the same thing".


This film was a joint production between the BBC Academy and Matobo films